Fantasy: The 2011 All-Disappointing Team

| January 5, 2012

These players will leave fantasy owners fuming all offseason. Whether it was the cost of a high draft pick or pretty auction penny, their black holes in the budget created an uphill battle for countless owners.

The 2011 Fantasy Football All-Disappointing Team will spare any players who missed six or more games due to injury. Most of these players would’ve fallen into the Jamaal Charles or Darren McFadden category — either a fluky injury you can’t blame yourself for going forward, or you knew you were playing with fire and got burned.

That’s not the same as the utter, pure taste of disappointment the following players left in the mouths of fantasy owners.

Quarterback: Michael Vick

Honorable Mention: Philip Rivers

Both Vick and Rivers padded their numbers nicely on the final Sunday with 300-plus yards and three scores each. For those who ended their season on Week 16, like most of us, this just provided one final slap to the face.

Vick sprinted into September ranked ahead of Aaron Rodgers on some prominent lists, but sputtered through the season’s middle stages with nagging injuries. Even with his three missed games, Vick still would’ve made a decent high draft pick if he could’ve found the end zone more than once, but instead surrendered an obnoxious amount of goal-line love to Shady McCoy.

Rivers’ fifth-ranked PFF rating quickly falls to eighth if you remove his Week 17 shredding of the Raiders (+9.4), just behind Alex Smith and the hobbled Ben Roethlisberger. Rivers concluded way too many promising drives with interceptions and was heading for a miserable fantasy season before Jared Gaither shored things up at left tackle.

In a year the Chargers quarterback was expected to take a big leap and finally got respect as a top-five fantasy quarterback, we got to see whether Philip Rivers can play better than Eli Manning when both are receiving poor protection; the answer landing squarely with the latter.

The final row includes their teams’ PFF 2011 pass-block ranking:


Player Tot TD Rank Tot Yds Rank PFF QB Rank Tm Pass Bl Rank
Vick 17 12 12 15
Rivers 10 7 5 20

Those who selected CJ2K despite the holdout did so with some known peril, but it wasn’t expected to be this bad. After an incredibly slow start — one 100-yard game and one touchdown through the first eight games — it seemed Johnson might make things up to fantasy owners with his explosions in weeks 10, 12 and 13.

Running Back: Chris Johnson

Honorable Mention: LeGarrette Blount

Well, it seems he just fatally tricked people into using him for their playoff run, before sputtering to less than 200 yards total and zero scores over the final four weeks. No All-Pro this year, CJ, but you did make this team.

LeGarrette Blount is a decent running back that wasn’t used nearly enough by a head coach and coordinator that were run out of town, which is a nice factor for next year. But that didn’t help him avoid disappointing fantasy owners.

There were many weeks the Bucs fell behind and he basically didn’t exist: Seven times Blount rushed for under 40 yards with no score. Those are killers for those who started the guy desperately hoping, despite way too few carries and little line push, for broken-tackle filled runs like the one in Green Bay, only to get burned like Vader.

The final row includes their teams’ PFF 2011 run-block ranking:


Player TD Rank Tot Yds Rank PFF RB Rank Tm Rush Bl Rank
Johnson 35 9 60 18
Blount 30 28 32 21

Holmes finished next-to-last among teams’ No. 1 receivers in percentage of targets caught. This can be partially attributed Sanchez’s inaccuracy, but his tailspin — coupled with reports of cantankerous attitude — have to trouble fantasy owners prepping for next year’s draft.

Wide Receivers: Santonio Holmes, Mike Williams

Honorable Mention: Reggie Wayne

Even before smoke rose from the Jets’ locker room, Santonio Holmes numbers seemed suspiciously low.

Holmes failed to top four catches or 60 yards receiving over his final seven games, and couldn’t make much happen after the catch, ranking 65th at receiver in the category.

After an 11-score rookie season, Williams hit the sophomore slump hard, leaving wonder if there’s a cornerback in the league from which he can gain separation. His yards-per-catch dropped from 14.8 to 11.9 and touchdowns from 11 to 3. Williams also finished 85th among receivers in average yards after catch.

Wayne would’ve escaped this list via the Peyton Manning’s Injured, We’re All Screwed Corollary if he at least managed to be the most productive receiver on his team, but Pierre Garcon bested him by posting six touchdowns. Yes, Garcon beat Wayne with six on the season. It was that kind of year for Indy.


Player TD Rank Yds Rank PFF WR Rank
Holmes 9 45 110
Williams 53 36 105
Wayne 44 22 19

Tight End: Owen Daniels

Honorable Mention: Dallas Clark

“Who is this Joel Dreesen guy?! And James Casey?!” Many Owen Daniels owners found themselves screaming at the television even before Matt Schaub’s injury put the nail in the coffin of Daniels’ fantasy value.

Other tight ends on the team scoring isn’t nearly as painful when the tight end you spent quite a few auction bucks on actually scores a touchdown after Week 4. Oh wait — he didn’t.

Clark would get spared from this list by Manning’s injury, except that Clark tied for third in the league in drops among tight ends, with Rob Gronkowksi. The Gronk had nearly twice as many targets and three times as many catches, though.


Player TD Rank Yds Rank PFF TE Rank
Daniels 24 15 23
Clark 33 30 59

Kicker: Wait, you didn’t spend more than a dollar or late-round pick on this guy, right? Nobody can be that disappointed. But I’ll throw in an under-performer in Josh Brown. So much of a kicker’s fantasy value is a product of the offense (ideally moves the ball but has trouble in the red zone), and of course he must make his kicks as well.

The good news for Brown: He missed fewer field goals than Pro Bowler David Akers.

The bad news: The Rams offense was hideous and he missed seven of his paltry 28 attempts.

Many kicker projections had him in the top five, which probably no one now remembers or really even cared at the time. Moving on!

Defense & Special Teams: New Orleans Saints

Honorable Mention: Green Bay Packers

Heading into the season with a championship-caliber unit, the Green Bay Packers didn’t figure to finish last in total defense, which would typically make them a shoe-in for an All-Disappointing Team.

But from a fantasy perspective, they weren’t all that bad. Five defensive touchdowns (ranks 4th) plus two special teams scores mitigated the inability to stop almost anyone, which was enough for them to hold out for honorable mention.

Meanwhile, the Saints generated few takeways and finished 24th in total defense. Gregg Williams’ perennially turnover-happy group produced little this year after hitting drafts with that expectation.


Defense Int Rank FumRec Rank Def TD Rank Pts Allw Rank Yds Allw Rank
Saints 30 27 9 19 24
Packers 1 27 4 14 32

PFF=Pro Football Focus Ratings
FumRec=Fumble Recovery Ranking
Pts Allw Rnk=Points Allowed Ranking
Tm PBl Rnk=Team Pass-Block Ranking According to PFF Ratings
Tm RBl Rnk=Team Run-Block Ranking According to PFF Ratings

  • drgarnett

    Boy, Andy Reid can’t get any slack. Everyone complains that he doesn’t run the ball enough, then when he finally sets McCoy loose all the fantasy fanboys give him grief because Vick’s not throwing enough TDs.